Once upon a time, a kingdom was attacked by brigands while the King was absent. The brigands captured much of the King’s territory, at least temporarily. Some of the King’s subjects even made peace with the brigands. One band of hardy yeomen, however, determined to defend the kingdom at all costs.
Perceiving (as they thought) that they could not repel all brigands everywhere, they gathered in the heart of the kingdom. If they could not defend the entire kingdom, they would at least protect its heart. They staked out their territory in the heart of the kingdom, and there they erected a fortress from which to hurl stones and shoot arrows at the King’s adversaries.
Their fortress, however, was small and rather rude, while the subjects who had capitulated often dwelt in cities that were passing fair. Many who hated the brigands thought that they could live safely in these cities while occasionally protesting against the invasion. Others hesitated in between, not liking the cities and wanting to fight the brigands, but liking the look of the fortress even less. That is when a few within the fortress shouted, “If you will not come within our walls, then you are the enemy!” And they threw stones at them.
For many years the situation remained thus. Some who lived in the fortress would speak with some who dwelt in the land, but this, too, was hazardous. To be seen speaking to one who was not of the fortress was to risk a stone to the noggin. Those who lived in the fortress could not always tell the difference between a defender of the heart of the kingdom, a capitulator from the cities, and a person of the land who dwelt in neither place.
As the defenders began to erect the second story of the fortress, a few of them created private chambers of their own. Such insisted that their chamber was the entire kingdom, and its builder was the King’s anointed. These builders provoked conflicts with the builders of other rooms and chambers. Not infrequently, they would assassinate their rivals within the fortress. Because the bodies were buried carefully in a deep dungeon, no one thought that they would ever be found.